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UPDATE 1-Ryanair profit slumps 21% as overcapacity drives fares down

Conor Humphries

* Q1 Profits down 21 pct y/y

* Average summer fares fall 6%

* UK and Germany are weakest markets (Adds quotes from CFO Sorohan on Brexit, MAX orders; analyst comment)

DUBLIN, July 29 (Reuters) - Ryanair reported a 21% drop in quarterly profit on Monday as overcapacity and a price war in Germany drove ticket prices lower, but the airline kept its profit target for the year unchanged.

Shares in Europe's largest low-cost carrier have almost halved in value in two years as the company deals with overcapacity, Britain's plans to leave the European Union and delays in the delivery of the Boeing 737 MAX.

In recent weeks it has been also been hit the threat of strike action by pilots in the United Kingdom and Ireland and cabin crew in Portugal.

Chief Financial Officer Niall Sorohan declined to comment on the likelihood of disruption in the coming weeks, but described the timing of ballots for industrial action as "a little bit unusual" given concerns around the MAX and Brexit and said the airline was open to talks.

The Dublin-based airline reported a profit after tax of 243 million euros ($270.36 million) for the three months to June 30, down 21% from 309 million a year earlier.

That was ahead of a forecast by a poll of analysts published by Ryanair ahead of the results of 232 million euros.

"The June quarter results were not quite as bad as feared," Liberum analyst Gerald Khoo said in a note, adding that ticket revenue was slightly light compared with forecasts but revenue from optional extras was better than anticipated.

Ryanair reiterated its profit forecast for the year to March 31, 2020 of between 750 million euros and 950 million euros, compared to a forecast of 832 million euros in the analyst poll.

"Current FY consensus is already in the bottom half of managements guidance range, but there may be some slippage as higher estimates are reined in," Khoo said.

Ryanair said its fares in the three months to the end of June declined 6% from a year earlier and said it expected a similar fall for the remainder of the summer.

Average fares for the year to end-March 2020 will be towards the lower end of its guidance range of -2% to +1%.

Ryanair's shares closed on Friday at 10.02 euros, almost half their peak of 19.39 euros hit two years ago. ($1 = 0.8988 euros) (Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Louise Heavens)